Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: US Mid-Atlantic
The fact that Toyota has been the market leader in hybrids since hybrids first hit the streets is really not a meaningful measure of the present or future offerings from them or their competitors.
One thing is for sure, they have become complacent. They have consistently removed features from their Prius lineup, in order to move them further up the product range. My 2007 Prius 3 had Homelink, electronic dipping mirror, 3-door keyless entry, fog lights, premium stereo with 6-disc CD changer and amplifier, amongst other things. My 2011 Prius 3 had a standard mirror, 1-door keyless entry, no fog lights, a stereo that was barely sophisticated enough for a 1970s Ford, and had an MSRP $1,000 above what the 2007 had been.
They still refuse to put CarPlay/Android Auto in the Prius, and instead foist the dire and useless Entune on buyers instead. Their GPS in the later Gen 3 was so bad that it was only possible to set a destination by going there first, and reliability was nothing too special either.
In the current Gen 4 lineup, safety features have pushed much of the equipment level the Gen 3 previously had to prices close to, or exceeding $30,000.
In my case, to keep some of the equipment I wanted from my old Prius in a new one, I would have had to pay $6,000-$8,000 more than the Ioniq SEL I bought instead. If I'd bought a Prius, I may have got a more reliable car than from Hyundai, but I'd have felt cheated by Toyota withholding features I had previously for quite a lot less - particularly since they weren't prepared to offer any incentives at all.
The Ioniq is smoother and quieter on the road, in my regular and familiar commute, it gets better MPG, is far better value for money in terms of fit, finish, equipment and trim, and doesn't feel as flimsy. And if warranties mean anything at all, Hyundai seem prepared to stand by their product rather better than Toyota.
Time will tell, but for Toyota to earn my money next time, they need to give me much better value than they seem prepared to offer. They used to manage it, but they don't right now.
2019 Ioniq SEL HEV